August 20, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
Just yesterday, we highlighted all of the things that your Android phone can replace. Next year, we may be able to add “Wallet” to that list.
Bank of America and Visa are testing contact-less payments delivered through mobile phones. Rather than swipe a debit or credit card, customers could wave their phone above a sensor and the money would be transferred electronically. The technology would be implemented via a small radio chip that sends a signal to the receiver over a very short distance, just in case you were worried about hackers jacking signals.
Our Japanese readers may be a little confused by this “news” because you’ve been doing this for quite some time. We westerners are behind the curve as always. Near-field communications is still developing for Europe and North America but it is starting to attract some major names. Visa is also running a test program with US Bancorp in October and has run pilot programs with other banks. Earlier this month, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Discover Financial were rumored to be collectively working on a mobile payment solution.
Aside from making payments, you can get rid of your loyalty cards and that George Constanza-sized wallet giving you back problems. Verizon has invested $400,000 in CardStar, a cross-platform app that stores customer reward and membership account info that can be scanned from the phone. We covered CardStar a short time ago, and think it would make perfect sense for a mobile phone payment system to have storage for the other cards we use when purchasing.
Now if they can just figure out a way to store my driver’s license information, I’ll have no reason to carry a wallet at all.